Category Archives: Cardigan

Autumn uniform ii: Mountain-Plantain

Plantain + Cardigan

Like my Coco-Sandra, this outfit is another one I’ll be wearing all autumn. I wasn’t going to blog the dress since it’s pretty darn basic, but I snapped some photos of this outfit in the morning when I wore it because I happened to have made the cardigan too. I love a 100% me-made day!

Plantain dress

The dress is a Deer & Doe Plantain tee ‘hack’, which you can find Anna’s tutorial for here. It’s made from one of Leah Duncan’s newest collection for Art Gallery, which I got from M is for Make (though it’s nearly sold out – Finch Sewing Studio have it for a good price too). I was interested to see what the quality is like of the Art Gallery knits, and overall I’m pretty happy with it. I’d call it a light-medium weight, but it’s stable and easy to stitch. It’s got plenty of 4-way stretch and good recovery. Ideal for a tee or babydoll dress really, and I reckon it’d make some pretty comfy leggings too. I’ve washed it a few times already and it seems to be holding up well.

Plantain dress

This was a no-brainer sew – all overlocked and the hem straight stitched since it doesn’t need to stretch. I should really have tried harder with lining up the print because the waistline is a bit skewiff and the mountains are upside down on the skirt and sleeves, ooops. It’s kind of a secret pyjama dress – sooo comfortable – which is why it’s shot to the top of my most-worn list despite the wobbly bits. Must make more!

Cardigan

I made the cardigan pattern myself by tracing off a very beloved Madewell knit that I bought last winter. It was really simple to trace and sew – I made the entire thing from pattern to finishing in an evening. The fabric is a cable textured double-layered knit from Minerva. It’s only £3.99/m and is really snuggly since there are actually two layers of knit bonded together.

Cardigan

It’s got a raglan sleeve construction with the hem and neck bands sewn on afterwards. I topstitched down the overlocking around the neckband to encourage it to stay flipped outwards. I put buttons on for that genuine knitted cardigan effect but didn’t bother with buttonholes since I’ll never wear it closed, ha.

Plantain + Cardigan

Unfortunately it turned out just a little bit too small all over, mostly because I didn’t allow for the fabric I chose having much less stretch than the original cardigan. Next time I’ll just add an inch or so all over and perhaps choose a looser fabric. It’s finally actually starting to feel cold here in London so I think Project Coat will be my next big project.

Style Arc Simone cardigan with White Tree fabric

Style Arc Simone cardgian

I’m very behind on photographing and sharing finished projects again (the old work effect, sigh), so this snuggly cardi is no longer very seasonally appropriate thanks to the lovely London sun we’ve been having lately. But it’s still a handy wardrobe builder and great for throwing over a dress or cami when the temperature dips. It’s a Style Arc Simone cardigan in Warm Jersey, which was kindly sent to me by White Tree Fabrics.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

I was going to make another Julia initially but decided to try the Simone, mostly because pockets. I’m – eh – moderately happy with the pattern. I agree mostly with this Pattern Review post that the drape is not like how I expected from the diagram. It hangs very heavily and rather sticks out around the hips, one place where I really don’t need any extra weight! The pockets are made by sewing a large dart in the front then folding it to the side seam, so you have six layers folded up in the hem which obviously makes it quite bulky. A lighter knit that the one I used is recommended, so maybe that would help. The instructions are typically brief but easy enough. There’s one error to be aware of: you need to cut two neck binding bands and seam them at the CB (the instructions have you cut only one which obviously isn’t long enough).

Style Arc Simone cardgian
Style Arc Simone cardgian

Chunky pockets aside, the fit it pretty good. It’s a bit longer than I expected, ending below the bum on me when I was hoping for mid-hip. You can’t shorten it from the hem because of the pockets, so next time I would take a couple of inches length out from around the waistline.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

The Warm Jersey fabric is a finely-knitted poly/elastane mix with a heathered effect from different coloured strands. Isn’t the colour just gorgeous? It matches both my living room and my blog! It comes in more scrummy muted colours too – red, brown, grey, blue (and Erin just used the richer aubergine purple for a hoodie). As the name suggests, it’s very soft and cosy and has a beautiful drape. I definitely snuggled in it like a blanket while deciding what to make it into. It was also great to work with – my overlocker and sewing machine both loved it. Despite being a proper knitted-looking knit it doesn’t fray or get fluff everywhere and it’s sturdy enough to not stretch all over the place when being cut and stitched.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

Style Arc Simone cardgian
The fabric behaved beautifully for the neck binding and I love how polished it looks – almost like a slim blazer lapel. There’s clear elastic in the shoulder seam to support the weight. One more change I would make next time is to hem the main cardigan before adding the neckband with the short edges pre-finished, because it feels a bit odd to me to have the hem going right over the band.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

I think it looks best on me with the pockets shoved to the back, not hanging around the front in its slightly weird trapezium-shaped way. It will definitely get plenty of wear this summer and beyond, and I might make it again with the fitting tweaks I mentioned as I do like the style. Obviously, the grey warm jersey is calling my name for next time.

whitetree

Oh, and I almost forgot! White Tree Fabrics also gave me a 20% discount code and free shipping offer for everyone, just enter code WHATKATIESEWS at the check out. Happy shopping – I’m eyeing up lace and broderie for my next project…

Thank you to White Tree Fabrics for supplying the fabric; views as ever my own.

Wool jersey Julia cardigan

Julia cardigan

This is one of those makes where I feel like a bit of a fraud taking any sewing-skill credit for it: the beautiful fabric and pattern did all the work for me, and I’ve ended up with an effortlessly rather gorgeous cardigan in no time at all.

Julia cardigan

Fabric fangirling first: this is a delicious double-faced wool jersey from a little midweek splurge I had at the Cloth House a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, it’s a good thing I don’t work in Soho or I’d be perpetually broke from spending all my £££ in Cloth House; they have the dreamiest stock across their two Berwick St shops. I’d been going in and petting their wool jerseys for a while and finally bought this one; I think it was around £16 a metre. I ran it through a gentle wool machine wash before cutting and lay it flat to dry. It was a dream to work with, and feels gorgeous to wear: soft and snuggly and as warm as you’d expect from wool. In this early spring weather I can wear it as a replacement for a light jacket.

Julia cardigan

I was looking for a slouchy, shawl-collared cardigan pattern to show off the reversible fabric. There aren’t many cardigan sewing patterns out there, but the Julia Cardigan, a PDF download from MouseHouseCreations available on Etsy, fitted the bill nicely. I was really happy with the pattern itself: the printout is nice and tidy and it comes with very thorough photo instructions bundled in the PDF. It’d be a great pattern for beginners to learn the ropes of knits and construction techniques. From putting together the pattern to finishing you could make this in one session: the most time-consuming part is pinning on the long circular collar evenly, otherwise it’s just a few speedy overlocked seams.

Julia cardigan

(I swear it doesn’t really look that creased all the time, it had been folded away in my bag as it was too warm out!) Sizing-wise I went for the Large based on my hip measurement, and I’m glad I did as it’s quite narrow across the lower back and I wouldn’t want it any snugger. The side seams still pull to the back a bit, but I think this is part of the design: I may widen the back pieces next time to fix it. The only adjustment I did make was to shorten the sleeves by 2″.

Julia cardigan`

The pattern includes various sleeve lengths and options for a regular hemmed edge or the hemless option I chose: you use cuff bands and a doubled-over shawl collar band to finish all the raw edges. Luckily I juuust had enough fabric to cut both faces of the collar (using the reverse of my fabric facing out for a contrast), and I love the seamless finish it gives. The only other thing I’d do differently next time is to try adding side seam or patch pockets.

Julia cardigan

Err, I dunno what my face is doing here, but look at those tidy guts. I could almost even get away with wearing it inside out. I wove the few loose overlock threads neatly away and added a drop of fray check to keep them in place.

Julia cardigan

This is perhaps one of my favourite things I’ve made yet. That seems a bit silly as the sewing part was so basic, but I think it’s taught me a valuable lesson in investing in quality fabrics and letting them dictate the project. I can just tell it’s going to get loved and worn to death already. I’m keeping an eye out for more knits for another Julia: I’d love one in burnout stripes or a heathered sweater knit. Mmm, knits…

scr

You know a fabric is truly lovely when you can’t even bear to throw away the tiniest of leftover scraps! Maybe I’ll make some little stuffed cat toys with them.